Longlisted Loveliness in the V by Very Blog Awards 2017

Once again, I am humbled and happy to be longlisted for these Irish blog recognitions, V by Very Blog Awards. I read many of the bloggers’ work that has won or been nominated before and it is a little cosy hug of pleasure to know that my writing might be enjoyed by someone else as I have enjoyed theirs. My vanity has been tickled!bitmoji-20170902100006

I didn’t begin to blog for awards. I am not a blogger that is making money from my efforts as much as I admire those who can and do. I have been a Boolino friend (getting books to review occasionally) and I am sent the odd yoghurt voucher but that is it and that is fine. I don’t want my blogging to become hard work. I want to be a teacher by professional and writer by passion.

When my children were born, life changed. There were all sorts of magical changes and many difficult ones. Who I am changed or who I perceived myself to be. It soon became apparent that I needed to take a handle on this quickly or I would be swamped under.bitmoji-20170902015449

This is where blogging came in. I have been writing all my life. I wanted to publish my first ‘book’ when I was four. College allowed me a miraculous capacity for creativity but then you hit real life-wow. Isn’t it hard to get yourself off the ground? I had found myself reading and reading Family Friendly HQ. Their posts were so apt and timely,  I felt as if they were mind readers. One fine day when I may have had a slightly less than blurry mind and a bit of a brainwave, I decided to try blogging.  I had been taught how in college. I had Internet access. I could use my phone.  I also could do something productive creatively in those moments when the babies slept rather than mop the floor. Again. I mean I was killing it in domestic productivity already.bitmoji-20170902045323.png

I was pretty new to this virtual society that I now love and was very rose-cheeked to reach the short list. I had no other expectations but I will say that getting that far did make me value my blogging a little more. Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards Parenting Blog Shortlist…thank you for choosing us!  is a post about last year’s selection.

Getting named in two categories is even more exciting as I don’t feel as if I am niche enough to be exclusively one or another. I started this blog as a parent blogger dealing with motherhood and what it brought to the fore in my world.

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I mean, I went from this to chaos. I needed a new outlet.

The blog brings me a chance to explore my identity outside mothering and this included lifestyle elements, travelling, eating, reading, theatre and film largely I mainly write from the angle of a mother and teacher.

So to conclude,  I am going to list the the benefits of blogging for those of you reading who may want to give it a go bit are unsure.  What do I get out of blogging? Here I go…bitmoji-20170902092051

  1. My Own Style. I can dress this blogger anyway I like. As you see, today I am a white rabbit. I can be me without leaving the house. It is a marvellous place to ‘find your voice’. You don’t need to be a wonderful writer.  You don’t even need to write. You can be purely pictorial. You get to choose.
  2. Express Yourself. I get to say what I want to. It doesn’t mean anyone needs to listen/ read but I can rant, laugh, race and review at will. Any time of day or night. You don’t feel silenced anymore. You don’t feel like you have nothing interesting to say outside of baby led weaning, babygros and burping. Not everyone is interested these topics, I soon realised, just when my brain started to limit itself to just the 3 B’s.

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    Why are you looking so bored? These are the most beautiful baby pictures EVER. There any only 150, nearly there…
  3. Flexibility lives somewhere in my world now. I blog from a phone app. No more wasted time. I wait on a doctor’s office- I blog. I cannot sleep- I blog. I take a bath- I blog. You don’t need to overthink that last one.bitmoji-20170905014546
  4. No Pressure. I don’t have to produce to a deadline unless I challenge myself to. bitmoji-20170902020046I can hit that Publish button any time I choose. I can save titles, ideas and dip in and out. No one us expecting anything from me.
  5. Identity. Blogging had brought ‘me’ back. I am mothering, teaching keeping house and still being myself. bitmoji-20170902020215Life suddenly included me again.

So thank you blogging and bloggers. I have already won my awards in many ways. I link to several groups such as #bigpinklink and #fortheloveofBLOG and recently had the fortunate pleasure to be involved with Big Up Your Blog. Several people have been kind enough to grant me the blog hug that is The Liebster Award. I once read Family Friendly HQ but now I write articles for Family Friendly HQ! I have written several reviews for Boolino. As for for folk out there who think they should blog and are uncertain, I say go for it. Nothing to lose and everything to gain. It is a beautiful world out here in Blogosphere. bitmoji-20170902044855.png

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A Simple Minds Moment

There is little that can beat the instant mood booster that is elicited from listening to the Simple Minds classic hit Don’t You Forget About Me and the mental air punch that it inspires. From time to time, the radio DJ will drop this tune on a rare, sunny day (this is Ireland) and we will roll the windows down, rack up the sound and thrill in this eighties’ beat.

We will sing and hair flick, air guitar and remember the time of hair rock.

We will want to air punch.

Thank you Judd Nelson.

There are several moments in cinema and television where this musical lift is employed that I love. There are the obvious and well- the less obvious. Obviously. Today I will be focusing on a song that can make a piece of TV/ film so much better by even reference to its inclusion.

Can you think of something better to write about on a glorious Monday morning in June? Neither can I.

So let us do it.

The most obvious film moment is The Breakfast Club. There is nothing sexy about John Bender. tumblr_mnfx2iHOO21r2aobgo1_500At least, I never thought so. In fact, he is appealing because he is not a pleasant character, like so many villainous fictional characters are. With John Bender however, we learn he is a victim of circumstance and social problems. As so cleverly caricatured in The Simpsons as Nelson, simpsonsworld_social_og_nelson_1200x1200he is coarse, rough and uncouth desirous of negative attention in the absence of family live. A Heathcliff of sorts. Why do we want him to get the girl? We really don’t. Yet as time progresses we change our minds. We grow used to /fond of/ sympathise with or even become empathetic to John Bender. So when he gets a shot at the girl…wow. That triumphant stride across a playing field, Daddy’s diamond earring proudly studding a grubby lobe, gifted during that apres detention kiss could only be climaxed with the air punch that has become iconic. And of course, the soundtrack that came with it. Eh, eh, eh, eh- ooooooh yea yeahhh huh. …64e875db1f8ee0fbfb0449b59026c948.jpg

So it is fair to say the next two moments are a result of that moment. Intertextualisation. A text within a text. This brings me onto Easy AI love a movie that draws on classic literature and this funny yet frightening tale of a modern day Hester (with the scandal, without the child) alluding to Nathaniel Hawthornes’s The Scarlet Letter draws on several 80’s classic films to conclude the story with a happily ever after moral. The guy arrives at the girl’s window (as she ends her confessional tell-all Webcast, this is a modern tale after all) with a boom box, speakers (aka John Cusack) but it is playing (you have guessed it) our track of the day. A serenade. Olive’s Moment.3e4885da153322ea460bb85376dbc5c4.jpgA bouyant Olive abandons her computer and tears out to the guy as they drive away into the sunset atop a ride on lawnmower. To the sound of our anthem. Air punch revival.

The next moment is from a very popular musical film and therefore all will know it. In Pitch Perfect accapella singer Beca doesn’t watch movies. I know. She is wasting her life! The Galahad of the piece (another accapella singer) manages to melt the ice queen’s heart. She sits in tissue box ravaging tears watching and listening to that final monologue in the the teen cult classic. Air punch.

 

It doesn’t end there.

In a show of heart, the character manages to bring this tune into an accapella group competition and as she belts out the words she catches the eye of the guy and they both air punch as Cupid meant them to. The love story is complete. Simple Minds work their magic once again. Have a musical treat!54dab0b6a9892319befecf32cd566bb4.jpg

Maybe you know the next one. Maybe you don’t. To me, it is way less obvious than the others. It is also most recent as I have only seen a few episides of the series as which is only airing here. This is no Romcom. No teen drama. No high school fable of angst and first love.  No. The TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (Click here)is the antithesis of these feel good beauties as it tells the fuctional story (yes people, it is not going to happen, despite Trump being President and many real fears it will) of a trapped, bereaved woman in a hellishly dystopian future. In some ways, there are similar dark emotions underlying in The Breakfast Club or Easy A as we have depression and fear, bullying and societal pressure.brians-essay-from-the-breakfast-club.jpg However these films have enough positivity to counteract the bad and of course, end with the definitively positive Air Punch. So imagine my shock and delight when, out of nowhere, we had the happy tingling chords of Don’t You Forget About Me surprise us in the second episode (I cannot link, you will have to watch the show) as the main character revels in a moment of joy that unexpectedly arrives in her horrific world. It is powerful on so many levels. Only the audience can see her tiny smile and the light in her eyes as she demurely, eyes down and shielded by her winged cap, paces to the gate of the house to meet her shopping companion. handmaids-music-1.pngThe music is internal to her and shows us a minute image of the girl that was before the world changed. Unfortunately this is not where the story ends and there is no air punch. Yet the song has worked it magic. It is all the more potent as the the TV series is dark and disturbing. The music’s arrival was so unexpected and much more effective. No physical air punch. Yet we all know Offred is mentally doing a Judd Nelson just as we might in our car on a sunny day in June with our eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

So I have to come to the end of my moments.

There are more uses of course- American Pie. Not Another Teen Movie and so on. There will be more. There should be more. These aren’t not my favourites however. I have already enlightened you with those beauts!

Just one thing left. Listen to the tune, blast it out and Air Punch with me.

Play it Sam. Have an eighties moment of aural indulgence. Relive the moment.

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